Lawmakers Take Steps To Stop Predatory Lenders, Reduce Interest Rates From 175 Percent To 35 Percent


A law to protect the financial security of low-income New Mexicans and prevent predatory lending cleared its first legislative hurdle today, passing the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.

HB 132 reduces the annual interest rate for loans made under the New Mexico Bank Installment Loan Act and New Mexico Small Loan Act from 175 percent to 36 percent. The legislation would also limit maximum loan terms for loans of $10 thousand or less to a period of 24 months and prohibit accrual of fees, penalties and charges for ancillary products.

“Abusive loan rates are keeping our families and communities down, it’s a financial epidemic,” said Representative Susan Herrera (D-Embudo). “We must bring an end to these practices, in order to protect New Mexican families from financial harm.”

HB 132, sponsored by Representative Herrera and Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) along with Representatives Joy Garratt (D-Albuquerque), Phelps Anderson (DTS-Roswell), and Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), passed the committee with a 3-2 vote, along party lines. 

The Roundhouse is open to the public for the session. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the building. Members of the public can view floor sessions and committee meetings on the New Mexico legislature’s Webcasts tab, and provide comment via phone or Zoom as directed on the daily schedule.